Titanic Distillers plans approved to convert Pump-House into distillery and tourism centre
PLANS have been approved for the conversion of the historic Titanic Pump-House into a new whiskey distillery and world class tourist attraction.
A listed building in the heart of Belfast’s Titanic Quarter, the Pump-House, along with its neighbouring dry dock, first opened in 1911 and is the world’s only authentic Titanic landmark.
Now, Belfast drinks company Titanic Distillers has been given the green light by Belfast City Council to convert the Pump-house into a working distillery with associated visitor tour.
Included in the plans are the installation of three large stills on a mezzanine floor overlooking the original pumping engines which are situated deep in the pump-well.
All the original pump equipment and associated internal historic features of the building will be retained and available to view as part of a visitor tour, with tourists also able to relax in the adjacent tourism centre, which will include an on-site ‘speakeasy’ bar and café with free wi-fi, gift shop, exhibition space and an enlarged mezzanine floor with tasting rooms.
Aside from restoration requirements, the exterior of the pump house would remain largely untouched under the plan but will be open for tourists to view the famous Thompson dry dock, which was built in 1911 to accommodate the massive White Star transatlantic liners Olympic and Titanic.
“We are very excited that our planning application has been approved,” said Titanic Distillers Director Richard Irwin.
“Titanic Distillers is inspired by the people who worked in Belfast’s shipyard more than a century ago – and now tourists will be able to walk in their footsteps in the very pump-house and dry dock that represent such an authentic part of the Titanic story and indeed the history of Belfast.
“At Titanic Distillers, we are very aware that we have a big responsibility as custodians of a hugely historic and global brand, and it is crucially important that we preserve the historical integrity of this building and its surrounds.
“The Pump-house has survived remarkably well for more than 100 years in a very harsh environment but it is in much need of repair and any further decline would represent a major risk to its future – so our first priority is to restore the building and bring it back to its former glory while maintaining and securing its long-term future,” he added.